ADPH Aims to Help Prevent Drownings This Summer with National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week
May 22-28th is national Healthy and Safe Swimming Week an initiative to help keep everyone safe by promoting healthy and safe water activities. And the Alabama Department of Public Health is urging everyone to stay away from public swimming areas if sick.
This year’s theme “Got Diarrhea? Don’t Swim!” is focused on germs and preventing their spread while in public bodies of water like pools. Sicknesses like diarrhea can spread if someone has an accident in the water and someone else swallows even a mouthful of water. Although most germs are killed within minutes by chlorine certain germs can survive in properly treated water for more than seven days.
To avoid sicknesses ADPH is urging folks to follow a list of do’s and don’ts:
· DO stay out of the water if you are sick with diarrhea.
· DO shower before getting in the water.
o When chlorine mixes with dirt, sweat, pee and poop, there is less chlorine available to kill germs.
· DO take kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers every hour.
o Change diapers away from the water to keep germs from getting in.
· DO dry ears thoroughly with a towel when you get out of the water.
· DON’T swallow the water.
· DON’T poop or pee in the water.
· DON’T sit or stand on the jets at splash pads. Sitting or standing on jets can rinse poop particles off the body and into the water allowing germs to enter.
ADPH would also like to remind parents to be attentive to their children around bodies of water by protecting the children they love from drowning. Watching your children closely, fencing off your pool when not in use
and making sure life jackets are worn can prevent drowning.
Drownings are the leading cause of injury or death for young children ages 1 to 14, and 4,000 people die each year because of drowning.